Product Review: MVP Tensor

By Steve Hill, Jack Trageser, and P.J. Harmer – Rattling Chains staff

When I spoke with Chad and Brad Richardson, the brothers behind MVP Disc Sports, for an article late last year, I specifically asked them how their signature overmold would translate to a truly overstable disc design.

To that point, MVP had not released anything with serious beef to it, but Chad mentioned that, due to the gyroscopic nature of the overmold, their version of a meathook would have more of a forward-penetrating, transitional fade as opposed to just dumping off at the end.

tensor

The MVP Tensor.

With the Tensor, MVP’s new overstable mid-range, they nailed it spot on.

Packing plenty of stability in the beginning of its flight and a nice, late, smooth fade, the Tensor is an excellent addition to MVP’s current crop of mid-ranges.

I was able to throw a 167-gram Tensor, which is a bit lighter than I normally use for mid-ranges. However, I think the lighter weight in this case was helpful, as I was still able to get the Tensor up to its cruising speed with a little less effort. When thrown off the tee, I was getting dead straight for about 85 percent of the flight, with a solid finish right (I’m a lefty). Without sounding blasphemous, off the tee, it flew like a shorter Teebird.

But this disc is no one-trick pony. While it is overstable enough to provide a hook, it handles low lines very well and, when powered up and thrown low, loses the fade and just becomes a laser. When powered down, it can be used on short flex shots around trees to provide a reliable landing right near the basket.

The best part of this disc, though, is how it resists turning over, even when torqued with bad form. I have done it quite a few times with the Tensor off the tee, where I try and overpower it to make sure I get some distance, and rather than holding left like a lot of mids will, it will nicely “S” back to its fade. In this sense, it is extremely reliable.

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Product Review: Bearded Brothers’ energy bars

By Steve Hill and P.J. Harmer — Rattling Chains staff

As far as energy bars are concerned, I don’t care if the company making it tells me it’s going to make me run faster, have more endurance, or recover from a workout more quickly. If it tastes like crap, it doesn’t matter.

So when I was presented with the chance to review Bearded Brothers’ offerings the ever-growing bar market, I was pleasantly surprised to find not only no claims of superhuman feats if I ate them, but also – more importantly – tremendous flavor.

product_reviewIndeed, each of the company’s four varieties offer complex, unique, but not over the top flavor profiles. Mighty Maca Chocolate is inherently sweet, but not overbearingly so. Bodacious Blueberry Vanilla mixes the bars titular flavors in a subtle fashion that leaves a pleasant aftertaste, while Colossal Coconut Mango balances texture and acidity in each bite.

The winner of the bunch, though, is Fabulous Ginger Peach. The combination doesn’t sound like it will work at first – for me, ginger brings thoughts of sushi and ale, not energy bars – but opening the package tells a different tale. The overwhelming freshness of the ginger hits the nostrils right off the bat, clearing your senses for the sweetness of the peach to come. Overall, it is an extremely invigorating flavor that mixes sweet and prickly at the same time.

While the taste is all these bars need to be successful, they have a lot more going for them, too. The packaging, for example, is something I wish more energy bars would embrace. It is resealable, so if you don’t want to scarf the whole bar at once, you can save it and keep it fresh. It is also shaped reasonably well so that it can fit in the back pocket of some running shorts, or a bicycle kit, or a small disc golf bag pocket. The outdoorsy background that the creators of Bearded Brothers boast is clearly evident in this detail.

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Product Review: Vibram FiveFingers

By Steve Hill – Rattling Chains staff

Depending on when, where, and what type of courses you play, finding the right footwear for disc golf can make or break your round.

Sure, if you play in a manicured park setting that boasts raked concrete tee pads, you can probably get away with wearing those clunky old skate shoes collecting dust in your closet. But if you play on any sort of uneven terrain, or tee off from rubber mats, gravel pits, or – gasp! – dirt, you’re going to need some heavy tread to keep you on your feet.

product_reviewBut, with many of the shoes with this level of grip being accompanied by some serious heft, it can be difficult to find something that will fit the needs of your game without weighing you down.

Enter Vibram FiveFingers.

With a combination of a mesh upper, durable tread, and impressive flexibility, I dare say the FiveFingers make the ideal disc golf shoe.

That is, if you are willing to open your mind.

You see, these shoes are less like shoes and more like gloves for your feet. They look a little odd and definitely feel strange at first. But, like Garth from “Wayne’s World” liked to say, “After a while, they become a part of you.”

Vibram, a long-time purveyor of footwear who a few years back hopped into the disc golf manufacturing game, was kind enough to provide Rattling Chains with a pair of TrekSport FiveFingers back in December. After wearing them for a few months, they continue to hold up tremendously in most conditions and, most importantly, have grown increasingly comfortable with each use.

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Product Review: inFlight Guide

By P.J. Harmer and Jack Trageser — Rattling Chains staff

I never understood flight charts for discs. A lot of people have told me I should check the charts when getting discs and such. But I didn’t get ’em. I saw graphs with numbers and lines and wondered what it meant.

Too, there seemed to be many different charts. Ones by manufacturers and ones by independent people.

Who is right?

My thoughts on disc flight is simple — I throw the disc and the way it goes is its flight. Pretty simple, eh?

The inFlight Guide by inbounds Disc Golf.

That’s why I was intrigued when contacted by inbounds Disc Golf. The company has a paperback book out, as well as an online spot, where you can check the flight path of more than 300 discs.

For people who like having flight guides, this book is small and compact and can easily fit in most people’s bags. That gives you the chance to use the book out on the course.

There is also a website for the inFlight guide which is continually updated with more flight charts.

There’s a small part in the beginning of the book describing how to use the book. However, as Jack Trageser will talk about below as well, these charts assume several things — including the player being a right-handed back-handed player, having perfect playing conditions and throwing a maximum-weight disc, among others.

I’ve never played in perfect conditions and I usually don’t throw maximum-weight discs.

Though I understand the need to have certain specifications to use the book, it seems like it’s pretty direct in the things that are needed for the chart to be useful. I’m sure all charts are like that, but it still ostracizes some players in the disc golf community.

For people looking for flight patterns and such, the book is useful. It covers hundreds of discs and it allows people to look up discs and get an idea of what the disc is supposed to do.

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Product Review: NutSac disc golf bag

By P.J. Harmer — Rattling Chains staff

I love my disc golf bag.

I have a Revolution bag. It’s loaded for so many things and I even have it personalized with a few patches. There are two plus-sized water bottle holders and room for many, many discs.

The reason I accepted the bag when it was given to me by a friend was because it could hold so much — my camera included. But here’s what I quickly found out — when I was playing, most of the time I didn’t carry my camera.

The craftsmanship of the NutSac is quite impressive. (photo by P.J. Harmer)

Instead, I had a lot of dead air in my bag — where the 8-10 discs I carried rattled around.

Comfort wasn’t an issue. Quality wasn’t an issue. Practicality was.

Several months ago, I was at a sporting goods store in New York’s Capital Region. This store accepts trade-ins and such. Hanging on the rack was a NutSac, priced at about 20 bucks. I had a gift card and I thought about it. In fact, the person with me pointed out that I should grab it because I had been thinking about it.

I looked at it. I stared. I thought about the NutSac.

After debating, I realized if I was going to get a NutSac, I didn’t want one that has been used. I don’t know what they did with that NutSac, did I? Exactly. I likened it to buying a new baseball glove and having the chance to break it in and make it your own.

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